In Tamil Nadu, ‘tiffin’ – the all-important snacks served between meals – is something to be excited about. Chennai even dedicates eating houses to the cause. Be prepared to skip dinner with our list of some great tiffin houses…
Words: SHEENA DABHOLKAR
Photographs: JEREMIAH CHRISTANAND RAO
MURUGAN IDLI SHOP
Its namesake idlis are fluffy and the meduvadai achieves the perfect balance of crisp and pillow soft, but reserve some room on the banana leaf and in your belly for the sinful ghee podi dosai – it’s crackling, laced with spice and served with a medley of chutneys. With outlets all over the city, it’s no wonder Chennai has zero trouble waking up.
MYLAI KARPAGAMBAL MESS
Adorned with images of deities and fresh flowers, this atmospheric and typically Tam-Brahm ‘mess’ is just the place to taste traditional Iyer foods. The pongal here is popular but don’t miss the glistening cashew-studded wheat halva, the famous badam halva or the hot, ghee-laden carrot halva. Buy packets of podi to take home, they claim to sell up to 15 varieties of the much-loved condiment.